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International R&D Cooperation The European Union Vista in Transatlantic Science and Technology Cooperation Rainer Gerold Director European Commission Melinda Kimble has presented the U.S. approach to the U.S.-EU Science and Technology (S&T) Agreement. My task is to present the European Union vista. To help the transition to a discussion afterwards, I shall answer four basic ques- tions. And in order to make sure that there is a discussion, I shall openly address some questions that caused difficulties in the negotiations. One may ask why an S&T cooperation agreement between the European Union and the United States is necessary. There are after all long-standing and extensive cooperative links between individual researchers, research institutions, and industrial laboratories in Europe and the United States. Indeed a considerable number of European researchers and Research, Technology, and Development (RTD) managers for example, the previous speaker, Professor Routti, and the following one, Professor Fasella have spent several years of their careers in U.S. laboratories. In addition, there is a multitude of agreements, both nongov- ernmental and governmental, between individual EU member states and the United States. Furthermore, centrally managed European Union research ac- counts for only about 10 percent of the total research effort and 5 percent of the S&T funding in the European Union, the vast majority of it being nationally funded (funding by the EU is only up to 50 percent of total costs). The answer lies in the fact that the European Union Framework Programme is playing an increasingly important role in addressing the strategic questions our society faces. Professor Routti has just described the activities foreseen for the Framework Programme over the next four years. It is designed to complement the national research activities of the EU member states and to provide a mechanism and funding to allow governmental, academic, and industrial researchers in Euro pean member states to work together on questions of general European relevance. 32

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RAINER GER OLD 33 Professor Fasella will elaborate on the complementarily between national and EU S&T efforts in the next presentation. Most of the problems addressed by the Framework Programme for example, control of infectious diseases, the ag- ing of the population, and global climate change, as well as the challenges of the information society or of mobility are similar on this side of the Atlantic and must also be faced by American society. There is, therefore, a genuine mutual interest in cooperating to solve them through common effort. Furthermore, the EU and United States both face the challenges of strengthening the partnership between government, universities, and industry and of ensuring that research is interconnected to other policy areas. Several research agreements involving the EU and the United States already exist for example, in the fields of nuclear fission, thermonuclear fusion, and biotechnology. We are both partners in a series of multilateral agreements, such as the International Science and Technology Centre in Moscow, dedicated to the conversion of military research capacity in Russia to civilian research demands, or the Agreement on Intelligent Manufacturing Systems, which may receive fur- ther incentives from the U.S.-EU S&T agreement. However, these agreements concern only focused topics. The mutual interest of a much wider cooperation was recognized at the highest political level by including a chapter on RTD coop- eration in the New Transatlantic Agenda and by specifically requesting a compre- hensive S&T cooperation agreement. The S&T agreement is therefore part and parcel of a much wider political initiative aimed at strengthening the transatlantic partnership as stressed earlier by Under Secretary Eizenstat. In this overall context both sides committed them- selves to "foster to the fullest extent practicable the involvement of participants in cooperative activities under this agreement with a view of providing comparable opportunities for participation in their scientific, technological and development activities" subject to applicable laws, regulations, and policies (Article 5a of the S&T agreement). They also agreed on the following basic principles: mutual ben- efit based on overall balance of advantages, reciprocal opportunities to engage in cooperative activities, and equitable and fair treatment of partners. So, if the advantage of such a cooperation framework is so obvious, why has it taken two years to conclude the agreement? There are several elements to the answer. First, the RTD management, funding, and policy development systems differ between the two partners. Whereas the U.S. RTD system is highly decen- tralized, with many different authorities responsible for different scientific areas and each with a particular set of rules, the European RTD Framework Programme, which has developed over 15 years, has a single authority working on the basis of a harmonized set of rules. In the United States, federal RTD support is given in a variety of forms for example, grants to individual institutes or to multipartner consortia. In the European Union, funding is provided exclusively through open competitive calls for proposals and only to consortia of several (on average five

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34 INTERNATIONAL R&D COOPERATION or six) partners from different countries, with preferably a mix from academia, industry, and other users. Second, there were different views on the arrangements for intellectual prop- erty rights and exploitation of results achieved through joint research projects. We all know that there are several thorny intellectual property rights issues pend- ing between the EU and the United States. Some differences also exist between EU countries, which complicates matters and might sometimes give the United States the impression of having to dance with an octopus. The Trans Atlantic Business Dialogue is actively looking into these questions, and we hope that sat- isfactory solutions will be found in order to overcome obstacles to cooperation. Third, there has been some debate on both sides of the Atlantic as to whether foreign participation in our respective RTD activities is an asset or a liability. I refer, for example, to a report of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (1996~. In Europe we have developed the view that international cooperation is very much an asset. The positive experience with the Framework Programme has con- tributed a great deal to this view. While the first priority of the Framework Programme has always been to stimulate RTD cooperation between EU member countries, there has also been an openness to partners from outside the KU, natu- rally to other European countries but also to non-European countries. Indeed, promotion of RTD cooperation with third countries is specifically highlighted in Article 130 g (b) of the treaty establishing the European Union Community. In the participation rules of the upcoming Fifth Framework Programme, dif- ferent categories of non-EU cooperation partners are envisaged. First are coun- tries that are formally associated with the Framework Programme and that con- tribute financially to the community research budget. RTD institutes from these countries can participate on a basis similar to the EU member states, including financial support. These countries will include Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. Negotiations for association have been concluded with Israel; they are ongoing with Switzerland and are about to start with the 10 Central and East- ern European countries and Cyprus, which are all candidates for membership in the European Union. This may bring the pool of fully eligible cooperating coun- tries from 15 to about 30 as well as increase the total sum of funding available for cooperative research. S&T entities from all remaining European countries, including Russia and the Ukraine, are fully eligible as partners in consortia under the Framework Programme. The same is true for S&T entities from the 12 Mediterranean Partner countries of the KU. Similar conditions apply to all countries with whom the EU has concluded S&T agreements such as Canada, Australia, South Africa, and now the United States. Agreements with Russia, China, and some other countries are envisaged. Scientists from these countries may participate in the calls for proposals under the Framework Programme together with at least two partners from the KU.

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RAINER GER OLD 35 Partners from countries not contributing to the budget of the Framework Programme will have to bear their own expenses, but they fully share the results of the research achieved in common. Participation by scientists in all remaining countries of the world is possible but more limited. We are convinced that such openness to cooperation, which may have been a choice in the past, has become a must in today's global society. The European Union is not a fortress seeking to remain self-contained; on the contrary, it seeks cooperation with partners in other parts of the world, including with its major competitors, because in the long run such cooperation is in everyone's interest. Some tasks are just too great or too expensive to be tackled alone. During the negotiation of the S&T agreement, we have retained the impres- sion that U.S. legislation and practice are more restrictive as regards access to federal S&T programs than the rules of the EU Framework Programme. We are, however, confident that in the implementation of this agreement and in order to make a success of it, the U.S. agencies will arrive at the same conclusion as we have namely, that such an open attitude toward cooperation is in their own in- terest. Concretely, this also means that cooperation should not be limited to fields where both sides have previously agreed, in a more or less formal way, to cooper- ate that is, the top-down approach. We would expect that the bottom-up ap- proach that is, cooperation activities proposed spontaneously by scientists, with- out previous encouragement by the administration should not only be possible but also welcomed by both sides. A fourth point that blocked the negotiations for several months concerned the definition of "foreign" participants. This was finally overcome by way of a side letter to the agreement. In the EU all research entities established in the European Union are eligible to participate in the Framework Programme. This means that any subsidiary of an American company based in the European Union (e.g., IBM Europe) is fully eligible to participate in research consortia and to be funded by the Framework Programme. This is not so obvious for subsidiaries of EU companies established in the United States. We see here a certain contradic- tion with the efforts to promote transatlantic trade and investment. Therefore, we welcome the understanding that both parties to the agreement expect an equitable treatment of their subsidiaries as regards opportunities for participation in S&T activities. We trust that public financing in the United States will not exclude American subsidiaries of European firms. What is the scope of the agreement and what are the forms of cooperation foreseen? In negotiating the agreement both parties were conscious that nowa- days more and more research is tackled using an interdisciplinary approach. Ar- ticle 4 of the agreement enumerates practically all fields of research. There are only three exceptions: military research, nuclear research (which is governed by a separate agreement), and research related to plant and animal varieties. The latter was excluded in a side letter at the request of the United States. As new harmo

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36 INTERNATIONAL R&D COOPERATION nized legislation is to be approved by the European Parliament, the partners may want to look again at this exclusion. Regarding the forms of cooperation, the agreement covers virtually every- thing from exchange of information and joint seminars to integrated research projects. During the running-in period, the lighter forms of cooperation will pre- vail. I am confident, however, that with time more and more joint projects will emerge. Hopefully, these will include projects that are conceived together from the beginning and not only projects that are put together after each side has al- ready taken its conceptual decisions. The former are still rare between the United States and Europe. What remains to be done? Now that the U.S. and EU administrations have put the skeleton in place, it remains for the scientific community to put flesh on the bones by developing joint research activities. It remains for the administra- tion, however, to ensure that the S&T communities on each side of the Atlantic are fully informed of the new possibilities offered by the agreement and that the commitments undertaken on either side are explained. We must bear in mind that information is not the same as mobilization and that the research community must be convinced of the usefulness of cooperation and of the novelty of the possibilities offered by the S&T agreement. We must also take care to avoid placing too many administrative hurdles in the way of the cooperation and en- courage scientists to initiate spontaneous proposals in addition to the activities envisaged by the administration. Let me say here that we do no expect detailed knowledge from any U.S. partner wanting to join a European consortium about the procedures ruling the European S&T programs, they should trust their European partners to solve the administrative questions. A series of "awareness actions" will be undertaken. Indeed, the first of these major awareness events is this conference here today. It is also an important first step in the identification of specific research topics where cooperation could be particularly fruitful. Having been involved in the negotiations of the agreement from the begin- ning and having lived through a number of difficulties both next door at the State Department and in Brussels, I am particularly satisfied that this conference has triggered such interest from government, academia, and industry. I am sure that our U.S. counterparts share this feeling, particularly Ron Lorton, who chaired the U.S. team and suffered with us during what seemed to be an endless story. This conference is a promising start, and I would like to thank everyone who contrib- uted to its success. A corresponding conference is envisaged in Europe next spring, possibly in Germany, to cover additional topics of mutual interest. I certainly hope that U.S. participation in that conference will be as great as the European participation in Washington today. The second activity aimed at improving awareness of the possibilities of- fered by the S&T agreement is the establishment of a clear, user-friendly home

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RAINER GER OLD 37 page on the World Wide Web, available to all interested persons. The EU and, as I understand, the United States have already established such home pages, which must be updated continuously. A third and very important instrument will be the designation of contact persons for each scientific area, at both the U.S. agencies and the European Com- mission. These contact persons will be fully briefed on the possibilities and un- dertakings of each party to the agreement. A list of the EU contacts is available at the conference. The Science Counsellors of the European Commission and of the individual EU member states in Washington and those of the United States in Brussels and in EU countries will also have to contribute substantially to the information campaign. The joint EU-U.S. Consultative Committee established by the agreement will play a crucial role in providing the necessary drive for the success of the agree- ment and in solving any problems that may arise. The first informal meeting will be in two days. Intensification of cooperation will take time; mutual confidence will not be developed overnight. The closer S&T activity is to application and the market, the more reluctance there will be to associate outside partners. There must be an overall balance and both partners must be convinced that cooperation is in their interest. These are general rules, not specific to the EU-U.S. relationship, and they clearly must be respected. Nevertheless, I trust that when we come together in two or three years, there will be a measurable increase in EU-U.S. S&T coop- eration. In Europe we have a long experience in international RTD cooperation be- tween the EU member states. The evolution has been tremendous and has led to a true RTD cooperation culture despite language and cultural differences and the growth of the European Union from 6 to 15 member states. It has strengthened the fabric of European science and innovation and has been so successful that intra-EU RTD cooperation is now no longer even considered "international coop- eration." We will be happy to share this experience with the United States. There is a lot to be done so that this joint venture can contribute to the adventure that is science. Let's attack it together!